Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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FREE BOOK NOTES FOR LONESOME DOVE BY LARRY MCMURTRY
Six days after July and Joe have left, Roscoe Brown feels the weight of responsibility
fall on him. Peach and Charlie Barnes, the town banker, descend upon the
jail with the news that Elmira Johnson has left. Peach guesses that she
got tired of living with July. Roscoe thinks itís possible she got eaten
by a bear, but Peach insists he go after her anyway. She pressures him
with two choices: go after Elmira or go after July and tell him his wife
has taken off. The next day, he finds himself saddling a horse and preparing
to leave. Peach and Charlie are outside the jail to see him off as are
many other town citizens. He tries to reason with them about why he shouldnít
take the trip, but no one will listen to him. So he looks on this little
town where he has lived most of his life and has a strong premonition
that he wonít be back. He is bitter, too, that everyone is eager for him
to go. So he takes one last look at the river and heads for Texas.
Once again we have a reluctant rider taking a trip towards an unknown future.
Roscoe is very incompetent and itís easy to guess that he may have a hard
trip finding July and Joe. He too is reminiscent of the Hat Creek cowboys:
he feels badly about leaving his town and somewhat fearful of what the
road will bring him. Like Lippy, he wonders if heíll ever return.
As the chapter opens, the point of view shifts again, this time to Lorena who has finally found a time for a good wash in the Nueces River. They had had a bad day trying to fight their way through the mesquite thickets, and she decides this is the perfect spot to stop. Jake is drunk, and they are quite a distance from the herd. However, the fact that she can see the dust they raise reassures her they are not lost. Jake is also angry, because his hand is so swollen from the thorn, and Lorena keeps denying him any pleasure. She gives in to him, but he is so sick that he can do nothing. So, Lorena gets out the cooking pot to make him some coffee.
Deets arrives near their camp, telling them as scout, heís looking for a good
place to cross the herd. He notices how sick Jake is and insists that
he will take the thorn out of his hand. He finds the needle in his pack
with which he always repairs his quilted pants and digs in Jakeís hand
until he removes the thorn. Deets also tells them they should get across
the river, because there is a great storm coming. He helps them pack up,
and even helps Lorena get her skittish mare across the river. He warns
them that they should cook quickly and get their fire doused, because
the storm is bringing bad winds. Lorena feels her first sense of fear,
because sheís going to be outside with lightning.
This is a good chapter to note how the relationship between Jake and Lorena
is beginning to disintegrate. Jake is sick and angry at her and canít
seem to help her when she needs him. Itís ironic that the man who comes
to their rescue is Deets, who warns them about the storm and helps them
move their camp. In most circumstances in this time period in America,
a black man might have been hanged just because he showed courtesy to
a white woman.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017